Now that we have all had time to get some sleep and recover from the first edition of “El Trafico,“ an absolutely absurd 4-3 win for the LA Galaxy, featuring our very own Los Angeles Football Club go up 3-0 and subsequently collapse in the debut of Zlatan Ibrahimovic, it’s time to reflect a bit on what this game means.
While blowing a 3-0 lead to your city rivals while you are trying to make a statement and signature win is, um, not great, let’s pump the brakes on hitting the panic button because of this loss.
The main reason? LAFC ran into a buzzsaw in the form of Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s debut. There was little to nothing that could have been done about his first goal (which I can admittedly not stop watching), and his second... was offside. But the debut of Zlatan had a storybook feel to it, and the impact he had off the bench was seemingly unstoppable. LAFC just so happened to be on the other end of it.
Secondly, this is ONE game. One. Yes, it was against the Galaxy. Yes, it was an intense collapse. There are no two ways about it. But LAFC have managed wins against Seattle, on the road, in a tight game; and blew Real Salt Lake out of the water 5-1 in Rio Tinto Stadium. This team is 2-1. Would a draw have been more of a fair result? Probably. Did the first half from LAFC deserve a win? Certainly. But one loss does not define a season. There is only up from here.
Another point: there are several positives to take from this game. The way that LAFC played in the first half could at the very least compete and make it hard on anyone in the league. Carlos Vela, Diego Rossi, Marco Urena, and Latif Blessing played great and, again, can make it hard on any defense in the league. Tyler Miller and the defense were rock solid in the first half. The midfield dominated the Galaxy. LAFC didn’t play like scrubs and get a couple goals back. They earned their three goals.
Plus, Bob Bradley now has the ultimate teaching moment for his team. They went up BIG in the biggest match they have played to date. Then, things fell apart. Whether that was tactics, complacency, intensity, whatever — the second half was a disaster. And I am sure that Bradley has dissected the entire half and shown his team exactly what went wrong. I am also sure that he is going to put his team in a position to respond.
Quite simply, LAFC bottled the game against their biggest rivals. Bob Bradley will make sure that does not happen again, and the team knows how well they can play. Every player had some brilliant moments and some to work on. The tale of two halves is what LAFC can use to improve and bounce back.
Plus, you only have to go up against Zlatan in his MLS debut in a rivalry game once. Zlatan knew EXACTLY what he was doing. It was his moment and if there was anyone to snatch it and make it his, do you expect anything else from Zlatan Ibrahimovic?
LAFC is now 2-1. Two great wins, and one loss that they could have, should have, had a result from. Now is not panic time. There are plenty of games to go. Next up, Atlanta United.
What do you think? Leave a comment below!